WIP report

Time to share some of my work in progress.

Yesterday, Faith came over to work on our homework.  Of course, we got sidetracked, so we went shopping instead!  One of our stops was to my favorite bead store- the one with the infamous bead box that you can dig through for hours.  I bought silver wire in various gauges, I hope to make a new project after I finish my final class homework, that it.

Faith had a birthday the other day and so I am making a freeform crochet scarf in these colors for her:


Then I have another friend’s birthday coming up, so I’m making her this one, too.  I would say these are my favorite colors at the moment:


Since this is a WIP post, I will show you my last 2 metal art projects to turn in next week- both are from silver:



And here is an asian motif from the kimono quilt I’m currently working on:


The next two pictures are not WIP, but thought I would show them nonetheless.  Check out this delightful mini quilt, it was in the bag from Barb.  I’m hoping that was intentional and I get to keep it- LOL!:


Last up, I bought these outside the store from a charity to support Project Linus, which is a worthy cause:


What are you working on???   Hugs, Carla

Handmade Holiday Gifts

This month, I’ve decided to write some more tutorials to celebrate the season.   These will be gifts you can make yourself to give to friends, family, teachers, etc.  My first one is almost finished, all I have left is to photograph the individual steps for the visuals.  All of them will be geared for beginners.

How’s that for a teaser?  LOL  I’ve decided to make some of my gifts this year.  Not only is it economy friendly,  you are giving of yourself to others: your time, effort, etc.

Speaking of gifts, I did finish my first one yesterday.  It is a freeform crochet scarf for someone, and I love the colors in this one:


For new visitors to my blog, I already have a tutorial on how to make this present.  You can also click on the birdy link on the right side for a list of all my free tutorials.


Quilting Update:  I just ordered some black batting for a number of quilts I need to do.  Since I can’t start the Egyptian quilt until the batting arrives, I’m starting another kimono quilt that looks like this:


That’s all for now!  Hugs, Carla

Beachcombing and WIP

I promised Karen to share some of my beachcombing finds.  I find it to be very relaxing to walk along the beach and search out anything of interest.  Here are some groups I found during my recent trip to Kauai:

Beach Glass…. I organized them into light and dark beach glass:


and a close up:


and light beach glass:


close up:


I also found some lovely beach pottery that had been transformed by the ocean:


and a close up image:


Then, on a black sand beach on the south side of the island, I discovered these lovely kukui nuts just waiting to be picked up:


I love to also collect shells:


and yet another close up:


some sand from Glass Beach for my collection:



WIP:  Been working on some jewelry for my metal arts class, quilting Lori’s quilt for her daughter Cara, and also working on yet another freeform crochet scarf for myself.  I bought most of the yarn in a little yarn shop in Hanalei, so I’m making it to remind me of the island:


Carla’s Freeform Crochet Scarf Tutorial

I first was exposed to freeform crochet a few years ago when I took a class from mixed media artist Cindy Pestka while attending ArtFiberFest in Washington.   This tutorial reflects what I learned from Cindy combined with what I’ve learned over the last few years. Enjoy! – Carla

Freeform Crochet, according to Wikipedia, is defined as ” a seemingly random combination of crochet… and possibly other fibre arts to make a piece that is not constrained by patterns, colours, stitches or other limitations….”

The most common type of freeform crochet is the joining of small crochet pieces, called “scrumbles,” which is a term named by James Walter and Syliva Cosh.  Beautiful, stunning work are being created by numerous freeform crochet artists, just visit any artist associated with the International Freeform Crochet group on Yahoo.

While there are no rigid rules, or crochet patterns to follow, I do have some guidelines of how I approach freeform crochet work that I would be happy to share with you. Rather than create individual scrumbles or patchworks of crochet to later join together, I prefer to just start, then build upon my starting point, joining yarn while considering color, texture and value.  I also like to add some scrumble texture to the finished piece as well.

There is no consideration for traditional crochet methods here, you just find a hole, and crochet.  Really, it is that easy.  Crocheting for texture means you intentionally leave gaps, and  crochet multiple layers. There are no mistakes, only happy errors.

Freeform Scarf– a scarf is a great first project to attempt.  This is a beginner project, but you do have to know basic crochet stitches.


Let’s Begin! First step is to gather your supplies. All you need is yarn, a small pair of scissors, and a variety of crochet hooks:

Choosing Your Yarn: Awhile back, I did write a post on the process for how I choose my freeform yarn. This part is key to a successful outcome. Make sure you pick a variety of colors, values, and especially texture.

Probably the only helpful hint I would add it to be sure you have enough yarns with texture and fibers within your selection, but do go easy on the eyelash yarn. Your local yarn store will carry a wise selection of yarns with nubs, thread bits and texture attached. Remember, too, that you can combine yarn strands to create a new yarn.

Carla hint! Visit your yarn store for quality yarn skeins.  There is a difference between inexpensive yarn found at large chain stores and what you find at a yarn shop.

Yarn Colors– Sometimes, I will search through my yarn stash for a focal point yarn that uses a nice selection of multi-colors- all in the same yarn for my inspiration. Then I will hunt for yarns that will match.

Usually, at this point, I have about 40 yarns to pick from, so I cull it down to about 20-25. In my yarn example above, you can see my focal yarn is the salmon red and green multi yarn in the middle of the picture.

Often, I will use color wheel theory to choose pleasing color combination. Sometimes, like in the red-green example above, I’ve used colors straight across the color wheel which are complementary. Other times, I’ll use colors that are monochromatic (values of the same color) or analogous (colors adjacent to each other).  If you have difficulty choosing color, then  visit this site.

Yarn Values– Value relates to the light and dark added to the colors. Here is an example from my stash showing value of a color- in this case, pink :

Yarn Texture– I happen to love texture in my art, no matter if I am quilting, painting, beading, or crocheting. For me, it successfully brings interest and life to the project, in this case, the scarf. Choose and buy yarn that has a variety of texture. Here are some examples from my yarn stash:

Once your yarn color palette is chosen and your yarn skeins selected, then pick a yarn to begin.  The only crochet skills you need are the chain stitch, single stitch, double stitch and triple stitch. (just pull up how-to video tutorials off of youtube if you need to learn these stitches)

Step 1- Start with a slipknot and row of chain stitches:

Step 2– Turn the corner and crochet a variety of crochet stitches (ss, ds, ts, etc) down the row.

Continue until you have a piece of yarn in an interesting shape.

Step 3– Time to change colors.  There are a variety of methods for adding another yarn in crochet, I simply hold the two yarns together, and knot them together.  Easy and it can add more interest and texture to the finished piece.

Step 4– Continue to crochet a variety of stitches.  Sometimes I will pull out my stitch book encyclopedia and add interesting stitches to the piece.  Other times, I will do this later when a spot needs more texture and interest.  As mentioned, there are NO RULES!  Just crochet a mixture of stitches until the piece “feels right to you.”

Step 5– continue to change your yarn colors and texture.  I put colors together that look compatible, however, there should be some contrast from the yarn next to it.  This is true even in a monochromatic color scheme.

Width and Length of your scarf  is personal preference.  If you don’t know what you like?  Just use a scarf in your closet or borrow one from a friend to use as a template.

Finishing your Scarf– I will cut loose yarn ends, add my fringe (if I want fringe), and look at the piece with a critical eye.  If I feel the piece needs more texture, interest or other spots of color, I will add to the scarf and layer my crochet on top or sew on a scrumble piece.

Congrats, you have completed your first scarf!

Last note from Carla- If you have any questions, just leave me a comment.   Read the comment section for extra information and answers to the questions.

As with any of my free tutorials,  if you create something, I would appreciate your sharing a picture.  If you create something and show it on your blog or website, I would appreciate a mention and a link to my tutorial, too.

Have fun!!  regards, Carla

Inchies and Other Mailings

(Carla Note: blog contest details are here.)

How are you today! Thought I would mention all the goodies which have arrived to my studio recently.

Inchies, Inchies and More Inchies!!– I am running an inchie exchange over on MQResource, a quilting site. What are inchies, you ask?? Just see my inchie tutorial to learn more! Anyway, the inchies are trickling in, here are the ones which have arrived so far:

Don’t they look lovely?? Terrific job by all the artists above!


Beaded Workspace– Next up relates to the freeform beaded necklace that I shared in my post yesterday. Quilter Karen A. asked me how do I keep the beads from going in all directions as I work with them? Here is a photo of my workspace that shows the piece of fleece/felt, the ceramic dish and other items:

You might be wondering why I have an antique key in the picture? I found it recently, so I’m planning to use it somehow. It is just sitting there for inspiration.


Another Mailbox Goodie– My sister, Yvette, sent me an adorable Life is Good t-shirt from the New England East Coast region:

I love that Lobster!! Thanks, Sis!


Don’t Forget! Before I go, I must remind you of my blog contest I am currently running until Sunday, August 17th, 2008 at noon:

The winner gets their choice of a lovely freeform crochet scarf, handmade by me! This is at least a $150.00 value (or was it $175?). I arrived at that price because that is how much that my friend and wearable artist Susan Italo sold it for when I let her wear one of my scarves at a quilt show. A merchant vendor saw Susan wearing it and decided she must own it!! Thanks, Susan, for your negotiating skills!

That’s all for today. Hope your day is creative! Hugs, Carla

Time for Another Blog Contest!

I’ve decided to run another blog contest- this time it is just because I feel like it! Here are the simple rules…

1. Winner to be selected next Sunday, August 17, 2008 at noon, PST.

2. Winner to select a freeform crochet scarf – from one of the 2 freeform scarves recently featured in Post 1 and Post 2:


3. To sign up, post this image on your blog within a post and a link back to my Feathered Fiber blog site:

(to copy, just right click and “save image as”)

4. Last requirement, come back to this post and leave me a comment so I may check out your site and add your name to my contest jar.

That’s it! That’s all you have to do to enter and win my free give-away! Good luck, Carla

More freeform crochet and Jack

Joe and I babysat Jack last night, and here he is crawling around on my quilt playing with toys:

and Yum!:

He is so blasted cute!! Of course, I’m biased…

Onto artistic endeavors… Watched the opening ceremony of the Olympics last night. The Chinese govt. really did a wonderful job on the show. Spectacular even. Shame they wouldn’t put the same energy and emphasis on human rights and individual freedom….. just my political thought for the day.

Since I’ve been in a freeform mood lately, here is another crochet scarf- this one has a focal point flower on the front


here is a closeup of the crochet:

That’s all from here…. life is quiet, which is a good thing.

take care, Carla

Latest Freeform Crochet Scarf!

Hello! I thought I would show you what I started last night and just finished. This week, my mornings are spent machine quilting, however, my afternoons I like to switch gears and move to something else. I love the colors in this one:

I am considering making up a dozen or so, then offering them for purchase later on. Think they would sell?

Here’s a close-up picture:

I also like to display them in my studio on a cool armature I found. This image is a bit dark, but you can still see what I mean:

So… what’s your opinion…. think these one-of-a-kind scarves are marketable?

Enjoy your day, I think I’ll start another one. Hugs, Carla

New Freeform project

This weekend, I was picking up the guild opportunity quilt (the one the volunteer damaged) from in front of the local yarn store, and I couldn’t help myself to a little retail therapy while I was there. I picked a 2 tone yarn as my inspiration and so here’s all the yarn I have that could work for my next project:

So what will I do with these lovely yarns? Make a freeform crochet project, of course. I think I will make a scarf and a matching purse.

Today, I meet with Jill, the opportunity quilt designer, to decide how to approach the quilt restoration. After much thought, I have come up with 4 choices or approaches to fix the quilt. My favorite way turns the damage into a design opportunity, however, I’m not the designer, so I can only sketch out solutions.

Enjoy your day!! Carla

Fair Goal Completed!

OK, just arrived back home from dropping everything off at the fair for the judging. I dropped off 3 quilts in the Quilting area. I also dropped off 2 crochet items. I am simply happy to have met the goal I set for myself!

While I was intaking the 3 quilts, the women working mentioned that I had received a 1st place blue ribbon for the collage purse I dropped off on Wednesday. I went over and sure enough, Vicki Welsh, the purse you won on my blog contest earned a blue ribbon. LOL!! So now you are receiving an award winning blog prize!!

One of the crochet items I dropped off was a freeform crochet scarf wrapped artistically around a dress form wire armature. They were good sports about my unusual entry. The colors of this scarf is similar to a scarf I once made for Lynn:

It has been way too hot to think about freeform crochet Carla style. I usually go crazy with this in the late summer, fall and winter seasons. Perhaps my yarn needs some love and attention.

Enjoy your day!